Drivers for both Uber and Lyft are on strike today, protesting low wages and a lack of transparency around compensation, and a couple hundred gathered outside Uber's Market Street offices this afternoon ahead of the company's planned IPO.
Curbed reports that about 200 drivers were expected at the picket line, and participating drivers are supposed to be shutting off their apps for 12 hours. But a quick check of my Uber app shows I can still get a car right now at regular price in about 2 minutes, from the center of the city, so perhaps participation levels in SF are not what the more activist set of drivers had hoped.
The New York Times reported earlier that the international strike day was off to a "muted start" Wednesday morning in Australia and Britain, with only about 30 picketers showing up outside Uber's Melbourne headquarters. Uber drivers in the UK are pushing for the company to reduce the percent cut it takes of rider fares from 25 to 15 percent.
In a tweet, the Rideshare Co-operative showed how Uber used surge-pricing incentives to lure drivers in Sydney to work today in order to counter-balance striking drivers.
What Uber did to Sydney this morning to lure underpaid drivers away from the protest against being underpaid. The only thing this company knows is manipulation. #gamepsychology pic.twitter.com/isIt7BwLBy— The Rideshare Driver Co-operative (@rideshare_the) May 8, 2019
Uber is expected to offer shares on Thursday at between $44 and $50 apiece, valuing the company at as much as $91 billion and showering its early investors and founders in billions of dollars in wealth.
Below, some scenes from the protest, via social media:
HeadsUp: Due to a #UberLyftStrike on Market near 11th #SFMuni is experiencing slow moving service & minor delays. You may see delays with IB/OB #FMarket, 6, 7 & 9/9R. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. pic.twitter.com/5MryRcK0KQ— SFMTA (@sfmta_muni) May 8, 2019
I’m live on the scene at the protest outside Uber’s SF HQ where I can report there is at least one tuba! pic.twitter.com/e4Z9Y6KIC4— Caroline O'Donovan (@ceodonovan) May 8, 2019